The Effects of Stress on Your Hormones

In this blog I have looked at some of the different ways that stress can impact on our health, more specifically the effect on our hormones, and how hypnotherapy can help.

Stress is a normal response to an actual or a perceived threat. Whenever we feel stressed our brain’s hypothalamus sends a signal to our adrenal glands to release stress hormones, such as adrenalin and cortisol. Our ‘fight or flight’ response is triggered, the body’s alarm system alerting us that there’s an immediate threat we need to address. Once the threat has gone our cortisol and adrenalin levels go back to normal. Constant stress over an extended period of time, however, causes cortisol and adrenalin to remain high. This can result in a hormonal imbalance and have a significant effect on our health and wellbeing, particularly for women.

How can hypnotherapy help?

Better Sleep

Chronic stress has a huge impact on the quality of our sleep and can cause insomnia. We may have difficulty falling asleep or wake in the night and struggle to get back off to sleep. Unfortunately, we can find ourselves in a vicious cycle as poor sleep habits affect our ability to cope with stressful situations. We may feel anxious and overwhelmed or have difficulty concentrating and making decisions. Hypnotherapy can help you to sleep better which reduces cortisol and helps you to get a better handle on things. 

Regulate Menstrual Cycle 

High cortisol lowers oestrogen levels which in women regulates menstruation. Low oestrogen can cause irregular periods along with other symptoms such as weight gain, hot flushes, night sweats, low libido and low mood. By helping to reduce cortisol hypnotherapy helps to regulate the menstrual cycle and reduce the effects of stress. When the stress is less the hormones are more balanced and the menstrual cycle is unaffected. Hypnotherapy can also help to reduce symptoms of premenstrual syndrome (PMS) or help you to cope better with the symptoms that you have.

Reduce Chronic Pain

When the body is full of stress hormones (creating a tense and non-relaxed state) the nerve fibres in our system get pumped up and this increases the pain message. Hormones such as oestrogen and serotonin, on the other hand, soothe the nervous system and decrease the perception of pain. Hypnotherapy and hypnosis help to close the gate on pain by turning down the stress response and creating a more relaxed state in mind and body.

Build Confidence and Self-Esteem

High levels of stress can result in feelings of low self-esteem or loss of confidence. You may find yourself constantly worrying about small things that wouldn’t have bothered you in the past, or being overly self-critical or doubting your abilities. Hypnotherapy can help you to let go of any unhelpful beliefs or ways of thinking and promote more supportive and positive thoughts, thereby reducing cortisol and stimulating levels of serotonin. Higher serotonin activity is related to greater feelings of confidence which in turn give you the motivation to do the things that build self-esteem.

To find out more about hypnotherapy or to book an initial consultation, call 07514 931 096 or email me.